Mirzaee, R.; Kebriaei, A.; Hashemi, S. R.; Sadeghi, M.; Shahrakipour, M.
September 2008
Iranian Journal of Environmental Health Science & Engineering (I;2008, Vol. 5 Issue 3, p201
Academic Journal
The present study was done to assess cement dust exposure and its relationship to respiratory health effects, both acute and chronic respiratory symptoms and ventilatory function impairment among Portland cement factory workers in Khash located in the south part of Iran. A cross-sectional study was conducted at Khash Portland cement producing factory in Iran in 2001. A total of 170 exposed and 170 unexposed employees were selected. Air transmitted personal respirable dust and total dust samples were collected in a full-time (8h/day) shift. Dust level was determined by the gravimetric method. An interviewer-administered questionnaire was used to collect information and history of respiratory health among workers (exposed and unexposed to dust) and measurements of lung function were made using a spirometer in both groups. Concentrations of personal respirable dust ranged from 3.7 mg/m³ in the kilns to 23 mg/m³ in the ore crushing area, and total dust ranged from 15 mg/m³ in the kilns to 95 mg/m³. Cough and phlegm, with or without shortness of breath, were significantly related to dust concentration. Measuring pulmonary functions of workers exposed to dust and unexposed group showed a significant decrease in vital capacity, forced vital capacity, FEF25.75 and Forced Expiratory Volume in the first second (P<0.05). Findings suggest that occupational exposure to Portland cement dust may lead to higher prevalence of respiratory symptoms and the reduction of ventilator capacity due to existence of quartz in row material of cement dusts. The study revealed that cement dust exposure is associated with acute as well as chronic respiratory health effects. It is recommended that engineering measures must be taken to reduce the dust level in cement factories, accompanied with health monitoring of exposed employees.


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